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The Holy Cross football team comes to the Stadium next Saturday with a new coach, an unbalanced line, and a strong backfield. Harvard coach John Yovicsin remembers what happened the last time the Crusaders came to Cambridge. He is worried.
"It took us the entire first half to get untracked last fall," he recalls, "and by the time we figured out their defense, we were two touchdowns behind."
The Crimson will face a similar problem this year, but now they'll have to solve the bastard Holy Cross offense-a blocking system geared to a single-wing attack, but coupled to a T-formation. Judging from what Yovicsin saw during his team's intrasquad scrimmage in the Stadium last Saturday. Harvard could have a rough opener on its hands this weekend.
'In Real Trouble'
"Our second offensive unit moved the ball really well against our first defensive unit." he says, "In fact, too well. Holy Cross has an excellent backfield, and if our defense gives up as much yardage as they did in the scrimmage, we could be in real trouble."
The absence of starters Rick Berne. Gary Farnetti, and Dale Neal undoubtedly affected the defensive unit's performance Saturday. Yovicsin held all three out of action, planning to let them recover from minor injuries. Senior halfback Ray Hornblower, who'll start on the left side next weekend, also skipped practice.
"We know what those fellows can do," said Yovicsin."What I wanted to know was what other people could do."
The scrimmage, however, brought mixed reactions from both Yovicsin and several hundred spectators."My God, we're going to get blasted this fall," wailed one jock. Yovicsin was somewhat more hopeful.
"There were some pleasant surprises," he admitted,"but I was disappointed with several aspects of our game that I thought we had cleared up fairly well."
One aspect may well have been the Crimson's lack of offensive consistency. In last week's 10-10 scrimmage with New Hampshire, the Crimson moved inside the Wildcat's 30-yard line six times but produced only a field goal and a touchdown. Last Saturday, even rushing against the inexperienced second defense, the first unit was still unable to come up with the big play.
"We had no trouble at all moving the ball." Yovicsin said,"and we were able to grind out the yardage pretty well. But I can tell you, we won't be able to grind it out like that against Holy Cross."
Yovicsin will be forced to prepare for the Crimson's opener without the benefit of game films of the new Crusaler system. He is faced with the difficult task of seasoning a new defensive backfield-with newcomers Fred Martucci and Dave Ignacio at safety and corner-in a week's time.
"We have a lot to do to get ready," he says,"This weekend, the Crusaders may not give them until halftime to do it.
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